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Author Topic: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age  (Read 1015 times)

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Offline HikariTopic starter

[Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« on: September 19, 2010, 10:58:53 PM »
It looks like my Abyssal is about to be orphaned (any games looking for a Day Caste?) so I suppose it's my turn to try a hand at keeping Exalted up and running here on the forums.  Here's what I'm pitching: one part Naruto, one part Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon, not the awful movie!), one part Fullmetal Alchemist, stir to taste.  If you guessed I'm talking about Dragon-Blooded, you win!

The game is going to be set in Greyfalls in Royal Year 760 (the 'default' starting date for Exalted games is 768).  This means a few very significant things for the player-characters:

1. The Scarlet Empress has yet to disappear.  This doesn't necessarily mean the Realm is in much better shape than it will be after she disappears, granted, but it does mean that civil war has yet to loom.  A productive satrapi is still relatively well-supported, and watched by Magistrates who still wield some degree of power beyond the tip of a spear with threats of the Empress's ire.
2. The Bull of the North has yet to march on the Northeast.  However, the war between Thorns and the Scavenger Lands is much more recent--having ended just six years prior in 754--and the wounds are still fresh.  This means the Realm's forces are in much better shape than they would be eight years from now, as well; there's certainly mutterings of separatism, especially out in the East, but no one (aside from maybe Lookshy) thinks they could really call down the full fury of the Imperial Dragons and live to tell the tale.
3. The Jade Prison-break has yet to occur.  This means that the number of active Solars is much smaller--though admittedly, most of the ones out there are in the Scavenger Lands or East in general--and that there are no Abyssals or Infernals to speak of, yet.  The Lunars do not test the patience of the Terrestrials too fiercely, and the Sidereals are largely quiescent in their timeless doldrums.  That means the Dragon-Blooded are rulers of Creation in more than just name...  they really are the big dogs on the block in most places.

For the purposes of this game, the characters (or at least the vast majority of them) are going to be from a special stock of Terrestrials: The Disciples of the Forbidden Master.

The Forbidden Master of the Sevenfold Path is a figure shrouded in mystery and legend.  There is no singular agreement as to who or what he was; most Dynasts assume he was a Terrestrial, as it is their wont to believe any great man must be; those who consider such heresies think, perhaps, he must have been an Anathema of some sort, so great was his power; and those few privy to the knowledge of them easily imagine he was a Sidereal of some sort, so vast was his influence and incredible his martial arts.  There are some who say he was an Immaculate who mastered every path of the dragon, but found in his transcendence heresies against the Immaculate Philosophy that forced him into exile--whence comes his name; others insist he was the Eternal Wanderer, a figure upon whom many itinerants base their lives who journeyed the vast expanse of Creation seeking out forgotten martial arts and worthy foes to test them on; still others believe he was an earthbound god, the very font from which the martial arts originated, bound to teach and reteach his lessons over the endless milieu.

The one thing they can agree on is that the Forbidden Master obtained an understanding of Essence that dwarfs that of even Immaculate masters and great sorcerers, gleaning from it lessons in which he instructed Terrestrials and mortals underneath him.  The wisdom he imparted was so vast that he could teach even mere mortals of sufficient talent to wield Essence, and under his tutelage Dragon-Blooded found the world of Celestial Martial Arts opened before them even at shockingly young ages, without need of the vast devotions undertaken by Immaculates or other practitioners.

All told, the Forbidden Master trained only a few dozen Terrestrials and a few hundred mortals, but that was enough to etch his mark on Creation: the Disciples he created scattered to the edges of Creation, where they took up vigil against the Fair Folk and worse.  These clans became the stuff of legends: the Grass Spiders, the White Veil Society, the Forest People, and a dozen other nigh-mythical organizations can trace their roots to his students.  The majority of them, though, came to settle in communities on the periphery of the Realm, where they plied their skills as mercenary clans of no small regard.  A great many of them settled in and around the Scavenger Lands, drawn by the constant warfare of the Linowan and Haltans or Hundred Kingdoms, or the epic battles waged between Lookshy and the Realm.

Two of these clans--the Yachiru (Eight Thousand Flows) clan who lived among the rivers of the Linowan, and the Lin Kuei (Forest Demons) who lived in the Haltan redwoods--grew especially large and powerful on the back of constant warfare for their patron nations.  The Yachiru were said by the Linowan to be descended from river-gods, able to lurk and hide where even their boat-clans could not find them; the Lin Kuei were believed by the Haltans to have associations with the dread fae that ruled the forest floor, and to be as much raksha as man.  The two clans clashed constantly in the wars between their respective nations, driving off or decimating--and often incorporating--any lesser clans that came between them at the behest of the Guild, Realm, or other outside agencies.

Eventually, a Lin Kuei leader approached the Yachiru under the banner of peace.  He spoke out with startling charisma against becoming further involved in the feud between the Linowan and Haltans--after all, he reasoned, didn't their clans have more in common with each other than their 'host' nations?  The Yachiru, who saw the Lin Kuei as the only real obstacle left in the world to their further ascension, couldn't help but agree...  but at the same time, they could not bear to abandon their battle if it meant admission of defeat.  The Lin Kuei offered a compromise: they would ally, and so that neither side could be said to have surrendered, they would both leave their war-torn homes behind and stake out a new life elsewhere.

"Elsewhere," as it happened, was the then-sleepy community of Greyfalls.  The entire countryside at that time was a dull and largely empty place, only just coming under the watchful gaze of would-be investors from the Blessed Isle.  The Nellens made pacts with the Morijin, as the unified clans had come to call themselves, offering them free reign to operate within the borders of Greyfalls in exchange for their loyalty.  These pacts grew in time, as did the Morijin; peaceful cooperation and intermarriage among the locals turned the Disciples from a purely mercenary extended-family into a proper community, with artisans and farmers as well as warriors and assassins.  The clan grew, in many ways, indistinguishable from the city.  The families still remembered their heritage--especially those of good breeding--but through lesser cousins, nieces and nephews, everyone in Greyfalls came to be of some distant relation to the clan as a whole.

The Morijin hypothetically appoint their own leader--the clan Emissary, as they call them--who has absolute say over what missions and projects the clan undertakes, and thus in practical terms controls much of Greyfalls.  Due to the power of the position, however, the local satrap exercises considerable influence in choosing the successor to each Emissary (the office is not hereditary and there is no formal system of voting; generally, a particularly renowned and auspicious clan member who's grown too elderly for the frontlines is proposed and either confirmed or denied by the satrap).  The satrap himself controls the broad administration of the nation: definition of districts, trading alliances and tariffs, taxation and public works.  An officer of the Realm's army theoretically controls troops stationed within the nation, but because the Morijin themselves keep the nation peacefully neutral in local affairs--no foreign nation wants to move against them and thus risk losing their services in battles with their other foes--the Realm stations only a skeleton crew of incompetents and political exiles in the local garrison.

The situation of the Morijin and Greyfalls is mirrored in several other communities at the borders of Creation, with similar clan-villages having sprouted up in the South, West, and North.  Like the Morijin, these clans act as large-scale mercenary companies of incredible skill and power.  The Morijin are renowned for their ability to turn the tide of a war, even in a region known for fighting with First Age relics; in the days before the clans consolidated, it was an open secret that if one nation hired the Yachiru that their foe had little to no choice but to hire the Lin Kuei.  Now united, their decisions on which contracts to take or deny has begun to have a massive political effect on the surrounding nations--as Thorns discovered much to their detriment in the recent war, having been decimated and humiliated until they brought in the Southern clan to counter the Morijin, and being ultimately defeated even then.  This undue influence has begun to earn them quite a few enemies...

Your characters are going to be young Disciples, primarily from the families of the Morijin clan (though outsiders currently 'on-loan' to the Morijin from their own villages for whatever reason will be considered).  As the name of the game suggests, these Disciples are going to be just coming into their own, both as Terrestrials and as ninja, in the unique position of coming of age in a world that is, itself, about to make the transition into a whole new age.  Obviously, a lot of the fun of the game is going to be playing through the massive dramas that we all know to expect over the next few years, as the Empress disappears, the Solars return, the East becomes a warzone once more.

I'm looking, first and foremost, for motivated players who are both consistent/prolific posters, and who are capable of creating characters whose stories need to be told.  I don't run Exalted to tell you my story; I need you to give me a character that catches peoples' interest, whose past and future beg to be explored.  If you know much about Exalted, you already know most of what's going to happen as far as the 'campaign setting' goes--what we're interested in is the personal goals and private dramas of your characters against that backdrop!

Assuming the players have the motivation and dedication to keep the game going, this will be a long-term campaign whose story covers several years of game-time, and might even end up multi-generational.  Try to keep this in mind when coming up with a character: your character is young and relatively inexperienced, but have an idea in your head that they're going to be somebody great, who wields major influence on the cataclysmic events that are going to transpire in the near future.

Experience with the Exalted system is not necessary.  I will post guidelines for character creation (they're going to be a bit different from normal Dynast starting rules) once we have at least five interested players.  For inexperienced players, you are welcome to just come up with your character concept without creating any stats, and I will come up with the stats for you to fit your concept.  Please don't create a character until you know the guidelines, though; some of them are background/roleplaying guidelines as well as statistical ones!

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 01:19:27 AM »
Wow, this sounds like an amazing story and idea.

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Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 02:57:27 AM »
It realy does, Hikari.  I'd love to play! 

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 03:03:52 AM »
A little more info for prospective players:

Outcast Disciples
The question obviously begs to be answered: if Disciples of the Forbidden Master are so powerful, why are they living out on the periphery of the Realm, detached from the Blessed Isle and it's politics, rather than marrying into influential Dynastic families?  The answer is in the Master's name: their martial arts were forbidden by the Immaculate Order due to some unknown heresies revealed by the Forbidden Master himself in time immemorial; those who mastered his teachings quickly learned either to keep them a secret (as is the case of the many orders of assassins that sprang from the Disciples, like the White Veil Society) or to strike off toward the Threshold where the Immaculate monks were far too busy hunting Anathema to concern themselves with heretics.

This has, unfortunately, resulted in pale echoes of the Master's own greatness.  He was also known as the 'Master of the Millennium', and for good reason: no other martial artist since has been able to fully learn his teachings and replicate his feats.  Though it's possible that all his teachings live on through one or another of his Disciples, no single one can claim to have mastered the full breadth of his teachings, and thus they have become scattered along with the Disciples themselves.  As generations have come and gone, old Disciples have taught their students (their own children, most often, due to the dangers of bringing outsiders into a society that teaches heretical arts) what portion of the Master's teachings they learned, and these children--never having access to the full scope of teachings their parents did--have learned progressively less with each generation.

Now, hundreds of years removed from the Master's last appearance, this has created an interesting situation: each family of Disciples lays claim to a fairly specific fragment of his teachings, and guard it jealousy.  These are the family styles, and they are a vital part of the lives of Disciples; every Disciple has a family, and every family has a style.  The clans guard their styles jealously, and the individual families within even more so; shadowy wars have been fought to protect the secret sutras of families with particularly potent styles, and for most families the punishment for attempting to run away from the clan is death.  To even allow a family member's body to go unaccounted for, and thus possibly come under study of rival clans, is unthinkable.  Some families have gone so far as to intentionally incorporate their techniques into their heredity, creating the legendary kekkai genkai--bloodline limited--styles that are internalized to such an extent no one outside their family can even learn them!

Families of the Morijin Clan
The Morijin Clan is made up of more unique families than any other.  The Lin Kuei, in particular, were already an exceptionally diverse clan on their own--they absorbed multiple smaller clans over the course of their history, often through conquest--and their combination with the Yachiru has bred more families under a single clan banner than can be found anywhere else in the world.

The families of the Lin Kuei run the gamut, with one exception: Fire Aspects are exceptionally rare in their bloodlines.  This is because the Haltans habitually sacrifice Fire Aspects for the amusement of their forest-gods.  Though the clan was more than capable of protecting them from this fate, the fact that the Haltans would not accept or work with them made their usefulness limited, and caused most such families to die out or choose exile.  The most prominent of such families, the Katen, ultimately defected to the Yachiru.  As might be expected, Wood Aspects are common among the Lin Kuei families, and there are in fact very few practitioners of the rarest Wood Aspect styles left outside of the clan.

The Yachiru families are slightly less diverse than the Lin Kuei, with a strong tendency toward Water and Air Aspects.  The Yachiru also include the Katen family, one of the few Fire Aspect lines left in the Morijin; they were originally a Lin Kuei family that was marginalized within that clan due to their nature, and fled into exile after a failed coup attempt.  They were the most strongly opposed to unification of the clans, and during the early years of the clan fought endless political battles with the Lin Kuei families over leadership of the united Morijin.  Ultimately, the other Yachiru families grew tired of their bickering and refused to support their candidates for Emissary, causing them to lose clout within the clan and be marginalized for their perceived lack of loyalty once again.

The majority of the families are left up to player-definition, so that each player can define his or her character's own family.  The important things to remember when developing a family are: whether they were Lin Kuei, Yachiru, or joined the Morijin after unification; what their common elemental Aspect is; what Terrestrial and Celestial Martial Arts they practice (keeping in mind that all Morijin have access to the Fivefold Shadow Hand style, and no families teach the Immaculate styles as their own--though they are taught in the community); and whether or not they have a kekkai genkai.

As an example, the Katen family were originally members of the Lin Kuei who defected to the Yachiru.  Their common Aspect is Fire, and their family's style is a powerful technique they have turned into a kekkai genkai out of paranoia regarding their associates.  They practice Night Breeze Style as their Terrestrial Martial Art.  Their kekkai genkai permits the use of the unique Scarlet Spiral Style of Celestial Martial Arts.

The Ninja Life
Greyfalls, and the scant few other communities like it near the other edges of Creation, is a bit unique in that the Disciples live amongst a city of 'extended clansmen' who, for the most part, do not have the talent to practice the teachings of the Forbidden Master.  These people live fairly mundane lives as craftsmen, farmers, merchants and the like, but should not be mistaken for completely normal citizenry: they are completely aware of the Morijin way of life, and that their prosperity rides upon the success of the clan in its endeavors.  As a result, they are unusually loyal--first to the clan, and then to the Realm.  True 'nationalism' isn't part of their cultural lexicon; they think in terms of clan and allegiance to the Scarlet Throne, and barely recognize "Greyfalls" as a political entity unto itself.

The children of prominent Disciple families are generally raised from birth with the expectation that they will become ninja.  Because the teachings of the Master can permit even talented mortals to practice Terrestrial Martial Arts, there is little concern for whether or not they will ultimately Exalt; it is best if they do, to be sure, but they can become competent genin regardless.  The members of these families enjoy a status of proto-aristocracy within the city, not unlike the treatment of Dynasts elsewhere, with the exact level of respect and deference they are due determined by their family (some, like the Katen, are far less respected than others) and rank within the clan.  Further away from the city of Greyfalls itself, much of this prestige begins to disappear; even the child of a prominent family is well-respected in the city with regard to the ninja he or she will one day become, but at the borders of Greyfalls' territory a clansman can expect only as much respect as his own power will afford him.

The rank structure of the clan is simple: the genin are the "lesser ninja", the rank awarded to those who have successfully completed their first contract for the clan.  A group of genin are generally assigned under a chunin or jonin to create a squad for a given mission, and they are sometimes deployed en masse under contracts for major wars--they are the only rank of clansmen numerous enough to form entire units.  The majority of mortal clansmen never rise above the rank of genin.  Most Terrestrials on the other hand will eventually leave this rank behind, and it is considered somewhat embarrassing or even unseemly for an Exalt to remain a genin for more than a few years.

The chunin are the "middle ninja" or squad leaders.  The chunin are chosen for their leadership skills and/or experience, and as such a clansman can achieve this rank at a relatively young age (or not at all, depending on his particular talents or lack thereof).  A clansman normally earns the rank of chunin after distinguishing himself in action or a number of successful missions, but the clan sometimes holds "examinations" to promote new chunin when the ranks grow too thin, often leading to exceptionally young and inexperienced chunin.  Few mortals attain this rank, and those that do are usually heroic mortals.  Chunin are normally deployed as squad leader for a group of genin, though they may still be sent as "footsoldiers" under a jonin or other chunin in the case of particularly difficult assignments.  Most Terrestrials spend nearly their entire career as chunin.

The jonin are the "higher ninja" or elites.  To become a jonin, one must first and foremost be a Terrestrial; there are no mortal jonin, as the next requirement is the ability to use Celestial-level Martial Arts.  The majority of jonin are in fact masters of at least one Celestial Style, marking them as extremely capable and dangerous individuals, of whom only a handful exist in the clan at any given time.  They have also distinguished themselves in battle and proven well-rounded enough to execute difficult missions entirely on their own if necessary; to become a jonin, one must generally undertake a mission solo.  The majority of jonin are specialized spies or assassins, rather than "combat ninja", and command a great deal of respect and fear within the clan.  There are rarely more than one or two jonin per family in the clan at any given time, with more than a few of them being semi-"retired" ninja who now teach exclusively.  As masters of their family styles, even many younger jonin are chagrined to find they must abstain from field duty to concentrate on passing their teachings on to the next generation.

The Emissary is the highest ranking ninja in the clan, and the sole individual responsible for accepting or denying contracts, assigning teams of ninja to carry them out, and overseeing the training and promotion of young clansmen.  Traditionally, the Emissary is assisted by a number of beauracrats and functionaries within various departments who attend to some of the finer details of these tasks.  Even so, the Emissary maintains a surprising degree of hands-on control over the assignments taken by the Morijin, always (at the very least) hand-picking the jonin or chunin assigned to a given task, though they sometimes allow them discretion in forming their teams.  The Emissary are chosen by their peers due to extreme distinction over long careers, and confirmed by the Imperial Satrap for suitability to the job--this generally means that they are politically pliant and skilled at diplomacy, though the satrap also understands that it is important to choose a ninja of considerable strength and renown so that the name resounds in foreign lands.

The current Emissary--the Third Emissary of the Morijin--is Cao Feng Mori, though he has been the Emissary for so long that no one much thinks to call him by anything other than title, anymore.  A venerable member of the Lin Kuei and one of the greatest living masters of Wood Aspect Martial Arts, Cao Feng has nonetheless grown far too old for the frontlines.  Though many accuse him of being given to dotage, especially in the relative peace and prosperity in which the clan has found itself since unification, he is widely respected for his considerable wisdom and affable manner.  There are few alive who can remember the days when he personally fought, but even to this day he is remembered for an ability rather uncommon among the Morijin: he is an extremely talented sorcerer.

Cao Feng has experienced a great deal of tension with the Nellens satrap, in no small part over his choice to support the Confederation during the war with Thorns.  Though the Blessed Isle technically remained aloof from the fighting, they had hoped to see Thorns prevail due to that nation's sympathies with the Scarlet Empire.  Cao Feng insisted that assisting them would be disastrous; it's no secret that he feels the Seventh Legion is pivotal to the peaceful stability of the Scavenger Lands, and he worried that their defeat by Thorns would invite another Imperial invasion and prolonged war.  There has been talk lately of the garrison of "proper" Imperial troops in Greyfalls as a result, and the satrap has increasingly begin to push for Cao Feng's retirement so that he can install a new Emissary more amenable to his goals.  This would be a minor annoyance, if Cao Feng weren't, admittedly, getting too old for the rigors of his job, with no suitable heir who would continue his work in sight...

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 05:12:47 AM »
Modified Character Creation/Advancement
Disciples are somewhere close to Dynasts on the scale of Dragon-Blooded might.  They are trained from birth in infiltration, combat, and esoteric martial arts, making them highly capable in general.  They are often well-supported by their clans, though--like Dynasts--they often have less "ownership" over their possessions than other Exalts.  They have a strong preoccupation with breeding and family.

In addition to the normal Aspect Abilities, all Disciples have Martial Arts, Stealth, Thrown, and Athletics as Favored Abilities.  Those of the Fire, Water, and Air Aspects may choose an additional two Favored Abilities; those of Earth and Wood may choose only one.  They receive 13 dots for Aspect/Favored Abilities and 22 additional "free" dots.  Of these, they must have at minimum one dot in every Favored Ability, as well as: Martial Arts 3, Stealth 3, Thrown 2, Athletics 2, Survival 2, Awareness 2, Larceny 2, Dodge 2, War 1, and Lore 1.  Though their training is more "practical" than the courtly instruction given to Dynasts, there are also far greater expectations placed on them to succeed in the basic tasks of the clan.

Disciples receive 12 free dots to spend on Backgrounds.  For purposes of Disciples, the Family Background has been modified, as noted below, and can be exceptionally important.  Several other Backgrounds have been modified:
-Artifact and Manse are purchased as their Dynast-equivalents unless a special exception is desired.
-Arsenal requires the character have a Family rating one dot lower than the desired rating.  A character with Family of 0 can buy Arsenal at 1 dot only, for example, and Family 4 is required for Arsenal 5.  A character with no Family cannot access family stores and must rely only on clan-issued equipment.
-Breeding requires the character have Family rating at an equal level.  A character may take Breeding without Family (representing, for example, a character who is the last survivor of an annihilated family) at a cost of 2 points per dot (3 over for ratings over 3).  Aside from this, a character with the appropriate level of Family may purchase Breeding at the Dynast price; Disciple families practice some of the best breeding (if, often, inbreeding) possible for the sake of protecting their secret techniques.
-A character generally should not start play with more than one dot in Command.  This alone indicates the character is already chunin-level, which will require some backstory!

The Family Background is exceptionally important to Disciples.  Very, very rarely do they take in orphans or admit non-members into training; virtually every living Disciple came from some family, even if that family is now decimated or in exile.  A Disciple's Family not only determines whether or not he has noteworthy relatives, but also access to other useful Backgrounds, and perhaps most importantly, to the Family's Martial Arts.

A character's rating in Family represents some combination of the prominence of his family and his position within it.  A character with a low Family rating is either a distant relation, child of shameful circumstances (ie, a bastard child, one of whose parents is an outsider), or a member of a weak family.  A character with a high rating in Family is a direct descendant of a powerful line with deadly secret techniques.

-- The character has no family.  This means his family was either wiped out without leaving him any noteworthy legacy, forced into exile without him by some unfortunate circumstance, or--very rarely--that he is an orphan taken in by the clan as a whole who for some inauspicious reason was not directly adopted by any of the clan's families.  The character can still learn the clan's basic style (Fivefold Shadow Hand) without a sifu, but will need to make connections with a mentor to learn any sort of Celestial Martial Arts.
* The character's is either in poor standing with his family, from a very weak family, or the surviving member of a defunct/exiled family who inherited some secrets and resources of value.  The character can learn his family's Terrestrial Martial Art without a sifu, but either the family no longer has the capacity to teach a Celestial Martial Art, or he is not deemed worthy of learning it.
** The character's family is either relatively average, or he is a non-direct relation to a powerful family (a nephew or second cousin to the family head, for instance).  The character can learn his family's Terrestrial Martial Art without a sifu, and the family's Celestial Martial Art up to the form charm, but may have difficulty finding instruction in the pinnacle charm.
*** The character is of the direct line in a good family, or a near relation to an especially powerful family.  The character can learn his family's Terrestrial and Celestial Martial Arts without a sifu.
**** The character is a direct relation to an especially powerful family, often the first-born and thus most prominent child of his generation.  The character can learn his family's Terrestrial and Celestial Martial Arts without a sifu.  Additionally, his family may have a kekkai genkai to which he has access up to the form charm.
***** The character is the most prominent and auspicious child of an exceptionally powerful family's leaders.  As the heir apparent to the family's secret techniques and political power, he has been groomed for success--albeit with enormous expectations weighing on his shoulders.  The character has full access to the family's Terrestrial and Celestial Martial Arts, and their kekkai genkai as well.  Such characters are generally viewed either as amazing prodigies or spoiled brats by their peers, and often enjoy a status not unlike nobility in the community at large.

Disciples begin play with two element-appropriate Charms from the Fivefold Shadow Hand style for free.  They may choose an additional seven Charms, five of which must be from Aspect/Favored Abilities, and no more than three of which can be from Celestial Martial Arts.  Note that unlike normal Immaculates, Disciples are not restricted to having to 'complete' a style before they branch out into others...  unless they choose to learn an Immaculate Style rather than their Family Style.  Even so, all Disciples are able to learn Fivefold Shadow Hand Charms without breaking the cross-style restriction.

Additionally, for every 10 XP earned in play a Disciple receives an additional Fivefold Shadow Hand Charm for free.  A Disciple who has learned all Fivefold Shadow Hand Charms may select a Charm of his choice from the clan's Favored Abilities (Martial Arts, Stealth, Throw, and Athletics) instead.

Disciples receive 15 Bonus Points, and spend them at the same "prices" as other Dragon-Blooded.  They may have up to 10 points each of Merits and Flaws, adding to or subtracting from their total of Bonus Points as appropriate.  There are likely going to be some custom Merits and Flaws in use, if desired.

Note: I'm also going to be shuffling around the stats/behaviors of some weapons to make small throwing weapons (knives/kunai, shuriken, etc.) a bit more attractive and less obnoxious to use, as far as house rules go.  Basically, I want them to be an attractive option for any characters who aren't in melee range, even if they aren't specialized "throwing" characters.

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 05:56:12 PM »
I'm still looking for a few more players.  I'd like to get started ASAP with some character background/introduction threads if we can get a solid group going.  Don't be shy, let's get this party started!  (It's going to be one craaaaaazy party!  /Dante)

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 12:03:51 AM »
Anyone?  I'd like, at minimum, one more player before we kick things off.  We can always take on more as we go.

Offline Tackyhillbilly

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 01:25:11 AM »
If Pumpkin and Muse are both in, I guess I'll come along for the ride.

Offline Drivestort

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 10:17:25 AM »
Room for another? I can play anything the party's lacking.

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2010, 07:19:39 PM »
There are now enough players to get underway, assuming everyone's still interested.  Don't worry too much about niche-protection; it's basically assumed that all your characters are going to be capable martial artists, and this should not cause you to step on each others toes too much.  Your Family styles should keep each of your character's distinct enough in combat not to be mistaken for one another!  For the moment, just concentrate on coming up with a character, and we'll worry about any changes that must be made to make the group "fit" after the fact.

A few last house rules to note for those working on the mechanical aspect of their characters:
1. Your Family styles (both Terrestrial and Celestial) are always considered in-element, regardless of their elemental nature.  You never pay an elemental surcharge or XP penalty for learning Charms in your Family styles.  You do not have to succeed at a Martial Arts roll to activate the Form-type Charms of your Family styles, even if they are Celestial styles.

2. These stat blocks replace the stat blocks from the core rulebook for the following weapon types:
Knife/Kunai/Shuriken (Thrown): Speed: 4, Accuracy: +1, Damage: +2L, Rate: 4, Range: 30
Windmill Shuriken/Chakram (Thrown): Speed: 4, Accuracy: +1, Damage: +4L, Rate: 2, Range: 50
Kick: Rate 3 (otherwise the same)
Punch: Rate 4 (otherwise the same)

3. A character who has purchased resource dots or artifact dots worth of throwing weapons (with the exception of obvious expendables such as exploding throwing weapons) is assumed to have an effectively unlimited supply of them.  This includes exceptional throwing weapons.

4. A character may make an unarmed or thrown attack as part of a flurry made primarily with another weapon, as long as the Rate of the unarmed/thrown attack is higher than that of the weapon being used.  This provides a special exemption to mixing Martial Arts/Thrown Charms in a Combo or action, however common sense rules apply: unless otherwise noted, Thrown Charms only apply to throwing weapon attacks made in the flurry, etc.  The final Speed for the flurry is the worst Speed out of all attacks used.

Note: OOC Thread is up!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 07:32:46 PM by Hikari »

Offline Josh the Aspie

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2010, 11:22:47 PM »
This game seems very interesting to me.  I am not -yet- sure that I will have enough time to post to this game, but I do have a few questions.  The "Fivefold Shadow Hand" style: Since this style is so central to the play, where can this style be found? Is it in a book somewhere?  Are you still building it?

Also, you mentioned the kekkai genkai, which is higher level than the celestial arts.  Are these sidereal arts?  Something defined separately?

I've watched the Naruto anime up through the current episodes available on Hulu, but I haven't read any of the Manga.  Would that be a problem if I was to join?

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: [Exalted 2nd] Coming of Age
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 02:42:55 AM »
I've been extremely under the weather, but hopefully I can pick things back up soon.

Fivefold Shadow Hand is found in The Scroll of the Monk, though an abridged version can be found on the Exalted Wiki.  Essentially, Fivefold Shadow Hand allows you to do minor "ninja tricks" by making hand symbols.  As an example, there's a dodging technique that allows you to replace yourself with a strawman/log/pillow or other appropriate object.  The techniques are generally not as directly powerful or combat-based as normal martial arts, but they're very good for the game's theme, as you could probably imagine.  That's why I'm giving them to you for free, to some extent.

A kekkai genkai initially is Celestial-level, but at the Pinnacle level may provide a bridge into Sidereal-level techniques.  That's exceedingly rare and beyond the grasp of a starting character, of course, but it's not unheard of for some of the most powerful and secretive techniques of the families to have reality-bending powers.  A kekkai genkai by definition is just a Martial Art that no other characters in the game (outside of fellow family members, of course) would be permitted to learn, and generally a good excuse to use weirder styles (like Infernal, Lunar, or Abyssal styles).

The game will be more "inspired" by Naruto than based on it, so no knowledge of the series is really necessary.  The setting is still Exalted's Creation, not Naruto-world.